Indian Open: Only eight Indians make 'cut'; Lahiri, Kapur fail to survive

Among the Indians, Shubhankar Sharma started with a birdie but ended at one-over 73 to share the 19th spot with Rashid Khan and 11 others.

Julian Suri returned a second successive five-under 67 for a two-shot lead at 134 at the Indian Open golf.   -  Getty Images

Only eight Indians stayed in contention for the weekend action after USA’s Julian Suri showed the way to go at the halfway stage of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open here on Friday.

Before the ‘cut’ came at two-over 146, Suri returned a second successive five-under 67 for a two-shot lead at 134 over South Africa’s George Coetzee and Sweden’s Robert Karlsson.

Among the Indians, Shubhankar Sharma started with a birdie but ended at one-over 73 to share the 19th spot with Rashid Khan and 11 others. Rashid followed his par round with an impressive 70.

Rahil Gangjee and S. Chikkarangappa traded their scores of the first round for a share of the 41st place at 144. Ajeetesh Sandhu sneaked in with a 71 before two-time former champion S.S.P. Chawrasia, Gaurav Pratap Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar made it on the bubble. Prominent Indians to miss the ‘cut’ were Anirban Lahiri and Shiv Kapur (148 each).

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Suri, a descendent of M. Buchi Babu Naidu a pioneer of cricket in South India, started the day as joint leader and ended up with a two-stroke cushion.

Son of Jagan Suryanarayan, who once competed with Vijay Amritraj and Ramesh Krishnan, the US-bred Suri started from the 10th hole and took the turn at one-over. Coming in, Suri shot a stunning 30, following an ‘eagle, five birdies and a bogey.

“I hit it really well the whole day and I just tried to free it up a little bit on the second nine with my putting. I gave myself a ton of chances on the first nine but none of them dropped,” he said.

Shubhankar was understandably unhappy with his score. “A one-over is not what I had expected. Missing crucial putts on the front-nine made a lot of difference.

”I was in a position to birdie the fourth and eighth but bogeyed there which in effect meant that I lost four shots on those two holes. Landing it in the water on the eighth was also a big disappointment. I now have to get my ‘A’ game out on the weekend to make up lost ground.”

Leading scores: 134 - Julian Suri (USA) (67, 67); 136 – George Coetzee (RSA) (70, 66), Robert Karlsson (Swe) (68, 68); 137 – Callum Shinkwin (Eng) (72, 65), Scott Hend (Aus) (69, 68); 138 – Prayad Marsaeng (Tha) (69, 69); 139 – Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) (69, 70) and N. Thangaraja (Sri) (71, 68).

Indians who made the cut: 142 – Rashid Khan (72, 70), Shubhankar Sharma (69, 73); 144 – Rahil Gangjee (70, 74), S. Chikkarangappa (74, 70); 145 – Ajeetesh Sandhu (74, 71); 146 – S. S. P. Chawrasia (74, 72), Gaurav Pratap Singh (73, 73) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (72, 74).